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THE CASE FOR CHRIST BY LEE STROBEL. Class 4 – The Case for Christ Questions from Class 3 Those that were raised from the dead, are their accounts recorded.

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Presentation on theme: "THE CASE FOR CHRIST BY LEE STROBEL. Class 4 – The Case for Christ Questions from Class 3 Those that were raised from the dead, are their accounts recorded."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE CASE FOR CHRIST BY LEE STROBEL

2 Class 4 – The Case for Christ Questions from Class 3 Those that were raised from the dead, are their accounts recorded and included in the Bible? In your opinion, do you consider the Old Testament to be as factual as the New Testament? Did the term "agnostic" come from the beliefs of Gnosticism? What about the way the West Baptist Church preaches the word of God?

3 Was Jesus the Messiah? Louis Lapides – A Jewish Christian Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah are numerous, a few examples: Born of a virgin Born in Bethlehem Descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, tribe of Judah, house of David (Genesis, Jeremiah) 24 generations before David, 24 after David Gifts from magi Deaths of infants in Bethlehem

4 Out of Egypt Nazarene Spoke in parables From Galilee Performed miracles Came riding on a donkey Silent before accusers Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver Vinegar to drink Soldiers cast lots for clothes Falsely accused

5 Nails in hands and feet Crucified Pierced Bones unbroken Darkness over the land Light to gentiles Rose from dead Odds of Jesus fulfilling messianic prophesies by chance are very slim Many have come to faith after studying prophecies of Old Testament in relation to Jesus life

6 Did Jesus really die on the cross? Dr. Alexander Metherall Gethsemane – “sweat drops of blood” Can occur when highly stressed, chemical breaks down capillaries Whipping Brutal, many died, great loss of blood Jesus was probably in shock because of beating Nailed to cross 5-7 inch nails driven through wrists and feet “Bones (shoulders) out of joint” (Psalms)

7 Breathing impossible to sustain Carbon dioxide builds up in blood Heart failure Spear in side Clear fluid, then blood would be accurate Jesus would surely be dead Did not “swoon” or be comatose Broken legs of two thieves Causes asphyxiation

8 Jesus bones were not broken (prophecy) as spear confirmed death Soldiers would be killed if Jesus was allowed to escape alive If Jesus had survived crucifixion He would not have been able to walk and visit disciples Why would Jesus willingly endure such a death?

9 Dr. William Craig – The Empty Tomb Traditionally those crucified were left on their crosses after death, not buried Early creed was given to Paul only a few years after the crucifixion refers to Jesus burial The four gospels all mention that Joseph of Arimathea placed Jesus body in his tomb Mark mentions that the whole Sanhedrin voted to condemn Jesus Luke says that Joseph of Arimathea was not present for the vote

10 Craig mentions that early Christians disliked Jewish authorities so much that they would not have attributed Jesus burial to Joseph of Arimathea if it was not true The creeds mention that Jesus was crucified, buried and was raised on the third day – this certainly implies an empty tomb The early Jewish authorities seem to corroborate that the tomb was empty by their claim that the disciples stole the body when the guards fell asleep

11 The gospels differ somewhat on the names of the women who first came to the tomb and other details, but the basic facts of the discovery of the empty tomb hang together Small discrepancies do point to the independent authorship of the gospels Since women were reported as first to visit the tomb, and since women were held in low regard in that culture, this report would appear to be accurate An embellished report would not have referred to women It is implausible that the disciples stole the body from the tomb, but then died as martyrs for a hoax

12 What evidence is most compelling to you that the tomb was empty? Mark 15:42-16:8 is the earliest complete record of Jesus burial and the empty tomb.

13 Dr. Gary Haberman– Evidence of Appearances There was no eyewitness inside the tomb to the resurrection of Jesus Paul: 1 Corinthians 15 – a creed “Christ appeared to Peter, and then to the twelve, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” Paul continues: “And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

14 Evidence it is a creed Paul received the creed either in Damascus or Jerusalem between AD, 2-8 years after resurrection Use of word “historio” by Paul – indicates investigative inquiry – most likely with Peter and James in Jerusalem Paul indicates that he is preaching the same gospel as Peter and James after meeting with them

15 Gospel testimony concerning the resurrection Many appearances recorded over several weeks Mary MagdaleneJohn 20:10-18 Other womenMatthew 28:8-10 Cleopas and companionLuke 24:13-32 Eleven disciplesLuke 24:33-49 Ten apostlesJohn 20:19-23 Thomas and apostlesJohn 20:26-30 Seven apostlesJohn 21:1-14 DisciplesMatthew 28:16-20 AscensionLuke 24:50-52 Acts 1:4-9

16 Acts references Acts 1-5, 10, 13 Acts 2:32 Acts 3:15 Acts 10:41 Hallucinations? Same theory as hypnosis. Not likely with numbers of people Unlikely with skeptics like Paul and James

17 Dr. J.P. Moreland – Circumstantial Evidence Disciples died for beliefs Were transformed from fearful and dejected to bold and invigorated by the resurrection Endured hardship and death after resurrection People won’t die for a falsehood or a myth

18 Conversion of skeptics James and Jesus’ family didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah Josephus records that James, brother of Jesus, leader of church in Jerusalem was stoned to death for faith in Jesus Paul (Saul) went from persecutor to apostle – says he saw the risen Christ

19 Evidence is very strong that 11/12 Apostles died as martyrs - Also Stephan, James (brother of Jesus) and Paul All died for the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, rose from the dead 100% James – sword Peter – Rome Paul – Rome Nero’s persecution, likely beheaded

20 Highly Probable Thomas – tortured, burned alive Phillip – tortured, crucified Matthew – beheaded James (lesser) – thrown from Temple Simon (zealot) – crucified Likely, not certain Nathanael – flayed, crucified Judas Thaddeus – beaten to death Matthias – crucified John was exiled and died of natural causes

21 Change to Jewish life Believers no longer engaged in animal sacrifice Believers no longer sought salvation by adherence to the law Believers worship on Sunday in contrast to legal prohibitions regarding the Sabbath Believers changed from belief in Jaweh to the Trinity Believers recognized that a servant who suffered and died for others was the Messiah rather than a conquering political leader

22 It is unlikely that thousands would abandon ingrained Jewish beliefs and traditions unless something like the resurrection occurred.

23 Early Christian baptism Was done in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit Immersion represents resurrection Jesus had been elevated to a status equal with God

24 The explosiveness of the Christian movement through the church Reached Rome within years Overwhelmed competing religions Changes lives through last 2,000 years and today

25 Summary 1.Gospels reflect eyewitness accounts which are consistent. 2.Gospel writers were honorable, intended to be accurate, included controversial material which fictional accounts of Jesus wouldn’t record. 3.Copies of the New Testament were numerous, in different languages, from different countries; are remarkably consistent. 4.Josephus, Tacitus and other secular writers record basic facts about Jesus. Thirty nine secular sources corroborate more than one hundred facts concerning Jesus.

26 5.Archeological discoveries enhance the veracity of the scriptures. No archeological discovery has discredited the Gospels. 6.Interpretations of some “theologians” who question Jesus miracles, claim to be the Messiah, resurrection are highly suspect. They start with the flawed assumption that Jesus could not be other than a normal person. 7.Jesus clearly saw himself as the “Son of Man”, the Messiah. 8.Jesus did not exhibit signs of mental illness – quite the opposite.

27 9.Jesus possessed qualities which authenticated his deity. (Performed miracles, raised from dead, omniscience.) 10.Old Testament prophecy consistently points to Jesus as the Messiah. The odds against his fulfilling the prophecy by chance are overwhelming. 11.Evidence indicates Jesus couldn’t have survived his crucifixion. 12.The tomb was empty. Gospels declare it so. Jewish claims that the disciples had stolen the body substantiate that the tomb was empty.

28 13.The Gospels, Acts, creed from 1 Corinthians 15 all mention numerous occasions on which Jesus was seen alive by many different people in many different locations. 14.The facts that early Christians died for their faith, skeptics became devout followers, thousands of Jews abandoned cherished beliefs to follow Jesus, early sacraments of communion and baptism affirmed the resurrection, the rapid rise of Christianity despite Roman opposition, all confirm the reality of the resurrection.

29 Historians and researchers point to legend developing over time, two to four generations. Accounts of Jesus life, death, and resurrection were recorded within a few years by eyewitness accounts. Legend did not have time to develop as it did for Gospel of Thomas, mystery religions, etc. (2 nd century). Strobel states that the facts require belief in Jesus as the Messiah.


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